+
Nurses post startling examples of what being 'recovered' from COVID-19 can look like
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Despite the fact that the U.S. has apparently tossed up its hands in resignation and decided that coronavirus was so last month, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. More than 110,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 in just the past three months. We have 5% of the world's population and a whopping 25% of the world's COVID-19 cases and deaths. (Is this the "so much winning "we were supposed to get tired of?)

The death toll is harrowing enough. but what we don't hear about as much is what happens to the people who get sick with COVID-19 and don't die. Once a person's symptoms have begun improving and they test negative twice for the virus, they are considered "recovered." But that's not even close to the whole story for many who wage a weeks- or months-long battle with this illness.

A nurse shared on Twitter how "recovered" doesn't mean what many of us think. Cherie Antoinette wrote:


"COVID 19 is the worst disease process I've ever worked with in my 8 years as an ICU nurse. When they say 'recovered' they don't tell you that that means you may need a lung transplant. Or that you may come back after d/c with a massive heart attack or stroke bc COVID makes your blood thick as hell. Or that you may have to be on oxygen for the rest of your life. COVID is designed to kill. It is a highly intelligent virus and it attacks everything. We will run out of resources if we don't continue to flatten the curve. I'm exhausted."

Another nurse chimed in about her own experience of catching the virus and how it impacted her at 24 years old.

"I am a nurse on a COVID floor, I caught it. I am a relatively healthy and could barely walk up a half flight of stairs. My blood pressure skyrocketed, chest pain was debilitating. I'm eight weeks out and still feeling the chest pain and shortness of breath. This is no joke," she wrote.

Other people added their own experiences:

"I'm just getting over a "mild" case after over two months. There's scarring in my lower right lung and my stomach and digestion are a mess like never before. But I'm coughing way less and can take walks again.

And, by the way, this is the third time in two months that I've 'gotten better'. I'm just hoping it's the last and it doesn't all come back AGAIN."

Many people report severe, lasting fatigue that lingers and returns in waves.

More nurses added to the chorus of those saying that what they've seen as they treat patients is downright scary.


And some are describing lasting symptoms even with cases that were considered "mild" or "moderate."

Cherie Antoinette responded to a woman who said she'd gone into acute kidney failure and acquired asthma, chronic cough and an irregular heartbeat, saying that most of her patients had the same issues. "I am traumatized working in this environment," she wrote.

She also shared a tweet she'd written back in March saying that people needed to be more concerned about the flu. After two months treating COVID patients, she's changed her tune.

It's true that many people either don't get symptoms or do get truly mild cases. But none of us knows how it's going to affect us. And because we don't get to go to COVID units or people's homes after they leave the hospital, we don't see how difficult many people's recoveries are or how long-lasting the impact can be.

As one healthcare worker wrote: "Without people actually seeing these scenes they honestly just don't believe it. The public believes as a whole that this only kills old people with heart problems or big complications."

Indeed, there's a whole lot of misinformation about the virus still floating around, from "it's no worse than the flu" to "it's all planned by Big Pharma and Bill Gates." Someone even asked Antoinette who paid her, as if the countless stories we're seeing from doctors, nurses and patients who have had first-hand experience with this virus are being paid to push an agenda. (Insert world's biggest eye roll here).

Some responded that most people do not have severe symptoms and chastised the nurse for fear-mongering. But it's not fear-mongering to state the truth that many people will suffer greatly from this disease, even if they don't die from it. It's not fear-mongering to point out that there's still so much that we don't know about how the virus works and why it ravages some people's bodies while leaving others virtually unscathed. It's not fear-mongering to share accounts from the front line workers who are the only ones who can tell us what COVID-19 is capable of.

We all need to continue to be diligent and careful, as the pandemic hasn't gone anywhere. As businesses and communities keep opening up, we still need to wear masks in public spaces, keep our distance from others as much as possible and take the virus seriously.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

True

Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

Keep ReadingShow less